Sir Martin Harris recently rejoined SOAS’ Governing Body, of which he was a member some 20 years ago, having been a PhD student even earlier. The first part of his career was as a historical linguist, in particular the evolution of the Romance languages.
The second part has been in academic leadership: 6 years as Pro Vice-Chancellor at Salford followed by 5 years as Vice-Chancellor of Essex and then 12 at the University of Manchester, where he presided over the successful merger with UMIST. He has enjoyed a number of roles in British higher education and has chaired a number of reviews, e.g. on postgraduate education, libraries and health services, he was recently Director of OFFA for 8 years and remains Chair of the USS pension scheme.